Cafe Ala Carte

With a cart-based coffee business, you can create a buzz in more ways than one.
Magazine Contributor
2 min read

This story appears in the October 2001 issue of Subscribe »

Finding a business that would allow Denise Merrill the flexibility to travel with her husband, Dan, wasn't easy. She checked out a gift store, but the long hours and weekend shifts just weren't for her. And then, at a franchise convention, Merrill found exactly what she was looking for: Café Ala Carte, a cart-based franchise that serves up cappuccino and other coffee drinks at private parties and events. "It was something different that we didn't have here in our town or the surrounding area," says Merrill, who started her Mishawaka, Indiana, business in September 2000. "Nobody around here does gourmet coffee catering."

The uniqueness of her franchise, and her husband's business connections through the pharmacy he owns, has brought Merrill her most loyal clients: pharmaceutical companies, which hire Merrill to serve drinks to doctors and their employees during product presentations. "They're looking for something different to take to a doctor's office instead of the same old doughnuts or lunch," she says, "and this is really a treat-employees and the doctors have really enjoyed it."

Merrill is also enjoying the business, especially when she makes cappuccino lovers out of uncertain customers. "We've even offered it to non-coffee drinkers," she says. "They don't like coffee, but when they taste our cappuccinos, they're like, 'We didn't realize these are so good.'"

More from Entrepreneur

Dustin's experience and expertise can help you monetize your message, build a marketing strategy and connect with influencers.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Are paying too much for business insurance? Do you have critical gaps in your coverage? Trust Entrepreneur to help you find out.
Get Your Quote Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.